Thursday, April 8, 2010

Baby Wearing Is Safe

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced in March a recall of 1 million baby slings made by Infantino. The recall was in response to three infant deaths due to suffocation in 2009. According to the CPSC there have been 14 sling related deaths in the last 20 years.

The deaths of these innocent babies is devastating. No Mother or Father would intentionally put their baby at risk but the tone of the CPSC statement and the medias coverage of this event is creating fear and is most certainly negatively affecting the number of people carrying their children.

The deaths associated with this recall were infants ages 7 weeks, 6 days, and 3 months. These babies were also reported to all have either been a low birth weight twin, born prematurely, or had a cold or other breathing problem at the time of death.

At Hip Mountain Mama, we strongly believe in the benefits of babywearing. We personally carried both of our children in multiple carriers. Our children are well adjusted, happy, and have a strong connection with both mother and father. Studies show that babies who are carried are less fussy and more content, studies show baby wearing promotes quicker brain development, and the increased bond between baby and Mother/Father is priceless.

There have been many more recalls over the years involving car seats and cribs. When those items were recalled people didn't turn their back and stop using them. Instead we focused on educating people about the risks and worked to make sure the products available were as safe as possible.

There is a risk in placing your baby into a baby sling, if you don't use it properly, just like if your improperly placed a baby into a car seat. It is important to know the right way to use a baby carrier and to use a carrier that doesn't increase the risks.

Here are some important tips for safe baby wearing:

1. Make sure your baby can breathe. Pay attention to the baby and what it is doing.

2. Never carry a baby with it's chin curled against his/her chest.

3. Never allow a baby’s head and face to be covered by the carriers fabric or Mother's clothing.

4. Be aware of what a child could reach especially while wearing a child in the kitchen.

5. Be aware of how your movements are effecting your baby. Avoid bumping or jarring your child.

6. Know how to use your sling properly. Consider practicing with a doll before your place your baby into a sling.

7. Inspect your sling often to look for damaged buckles or tears in the fabric.

Mothers have been carrying their babies in slings and carriers for centuries. Babywearing is good for babies and parents. Please stay educated about these type of events so that you can help others make wise decisions for their children. You can find much more information on babywearing here.

Please join us in showing support for baby wearing by adding a photo of you wearing your child or baby to the Hip Mountain Mama Fan Page, changing your Facebook/Twitter profile picture to one of your wearing your baby, or simply posting a link to this article anywhere you can. Together we can spread the word that baby wearing is not only safe but also very beneficial for babies, kids, mothers, and fathers.


  1. OMG Suzy, you and your babies are so adorably cute!!!! Hooray for wearing babies!!

  2. Thank you for such a great post. The girls are so cute! Hooray for babywearing!

  3. I love this article. It is very helpful. Yay for babywearing.

  4. Good post. You also shouldn't have your baby hanging down by your waist, like the Infantino bags do. It's not good for mom's body or baby. Some good rules of thumb is that baby should be close enough to kiss (unless he is on your back, obviously!), and that your sling should mimic the position your baby prefers to be carried in when in your arms. If you wouldn't carry your baby down at your hip curled into a ball, then don't put him in a sling that way.

  5. So true! My sister and I are both baby wearers. She had an experience the other day at the grocery store. A woman had apparently seen the recall and came up to her to tell her, "those were recalled, your baby is going to die". I couldn't have survived having a toddler and a newborn if I hadn't been a babywearer!

  6. I so agree. I wore both my children in a moby wrap, various ways, and then in a homemade toddler hip sling. It was the only way to get my almost-2-year-old-master-escape-artist through the airport solo!

    I feel the "proper wearing" term shouldn't deter novices. There are so many wonderful video-tutorials out there. (thnx HMM!)Mom's groups help. Lactation consultants can sometimes help too. Sometimes it is hard to know where to turn for quality "how-to" assistance when you are a new parent considering wearing your child.

    We co-slept too, despite many dissenting opinions. We just believe a baby needs to be near a care-giver most all the time. So many studies suggest contact helps babies thrive. I imagine the many generations before us didn't leave their child in a bassinet but rather took their baby everywhere they went. Here is to education and compassion.